RANCHI: The March of security forces into the Budha Pahar hills in Jharkhand’s Maoist-infested Garhwa and Latehar districts over a fortnight proves the decisiveness in the state’s fight against Left-wing insurgency.
The hills, which have served as an impenetrable haven of armed Maoists for nearly two decades, are currently surrounded by about 2,000 security personnel from CRPF, its specialised CoBRA battalion, Jharkhand Jaguar, India Reserve Battalion, Jharkhand Armed Police and district police units.
Top Maoist leaders such as Dev Kumar Dhan alias Arvindji, the CPI(Maoist) politburo member who heads the outfit in Jharkhand, and Sudhakaran, a central committee member of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, are believed to be hiding in the hilly terrain encased in jungles. They each carry a reward of `1 crore on their heads.
Sudhakaran, also known as B Sudhakar alias Kiran alias Sharad, is an expert at guerilla warfare and tactics. His wife Neelima alias Padma alias Jaya, who carries `10 lakh on her head, is believed to be with him.
The Maoist leaders are accompanied by armed squads comprising nearly 300 cadres trained in guerilla warfare. They carry considerably large cache of explosives, according intelligence sources.
“Instead of directly engaging the security forces in armed encounters, the Maoists are now using explosives at strategic locations in and around Budha Pahar. Their days are certainly numbered,” said senior police official monitoring the combing operations.
The state’s Raghubar Das-led BJP government, which has vowed to eliminate Maoist insurgency by December 31, is closely monitoring the anti-Maoist operations. About 38 hardcore Maoist commanders and cadres have been arrested and more than 105 men have surrendered this year.
The home ministry’s senior security advisor, K Vijay Kumar, discussed the Maoist situation in the state with top police and CRPF officials during his visit to Latehar and Giridih earlier this month. After reviewing the progress in last three months, Kumar has asked the officials to go all out against the Left-wing guerillas in Budha Pahar and Parasnath hills in Giridih.
“The fight to end the Maoist menace is yielding the desired results. The security forces are determined to succeed,” said Jharkhand’s ADG (operations) RK Mallick.